U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) today voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to produce critical documents tied to the botched Fast and Furious sting operation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sold thousands of weapons to gun traffickers, and then lost track of those weapons, including ones later linked to the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
With the vote, in favor of the resolution of contempt, the measure will now be referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for enforcement of the subpoena.
"It is a disgrace that the chief law enforcement of the United States refuses to release documentation that I believe would shed light on potential wrongdoing by members of the administration and the tragic death of a Border Patrol Agent. These records do not involve an ongoing operation and does not directly involve national security so there is no legitimate excuse to keep them from the American people. The attorney general's contempt for Congress, the American people and Agent Terry's family is both reckless and unacceptable," Luetkemeyer said. "To add insult to injury, the President of the United States has asserted executive privilege to prevent the release of these documents. The operation is over and has failed and those responsible need to be held accountable. It is my hope that this contempt resolution will provide all Americans and the Terry family with the answers they deserve."
The House Oversight and Government Committee, which Luetkemeyer had served on during his first two years in Congress, has been leading a congressional investigation into failed gun-trafficking operation that happened late last year. The panel issued a subpoena to Holder seeking communications regarding the operation from top Justice Department officials, documents and information shared with the White House relating to the death of Terry and others, and any efforts to keep some information covered-up.
The attorney general has refused to turn over thousands of pages of those documents in response to the subpoena and last week President Obama claimed executive privilege over the documents being sought by Congress, resulting in the Justice Department's continued refusal to release the requested documents. Last November, Luetkemeyer joined more than 50 lawmakers seeking Holder's resignation as a result of the Fast and Furious scandal.